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Paudel new head of Nepal Oil Corporation

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 9, 2019-

The government has appointed Surendra Prasad Paudel to lead Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the country’s sole petroleum supplier, which has an annual transaction of more than Rs170 billion. 

The Cabinet on Monday appointed Paudel as managing director of the corporation with a four year term. He resigned as chief of Udayapur Cement the day he was appointed.

Paudel, a chartered accountant, has been credited largely for bringing effective programmes to improve the financial health of Udayapur Cement, the organisation in which he became general manager last February. 

Under the leadership of Paudel, the state-owned cement factory earned a profit of Rs250 million in the last fiscal year. 

Apart from increasing the production volume, Paudel was also credited for clearing almost all of the liabilities that the factory owed including VAT and unpaid employees’ wages. 

As per officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Paudel exhibited strong aptitude amongst three shortlisted finalists that included Tara Nath Poudel and Anil Kumar Jha. 

The finalists were recommended for the position by the line ministry. According to the source, the ministry conducted final assessments of the candidates on Friday. 

The position of managing director at the state-owned oil monopoly has been vacant since July 7 after Gopal Bahadur Khadka quit following corruption charges over a land purchase deal. 

After being found guilty, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Monday, filed a corruption case against Khadka at the Special Court on the charge of amassing property worth Rs186.6 million illegally. By sacking the former chief Chandika Prasad Bhatta, the Sushil Koirala-led government appointed Khadka in January 2015. 

The position of Managing director at the NOC is considered to be a lucrative post among government corporations. Typically, the post is filled based on political discretion. This time however, the ministry looked to recruit the new NOC chief on a competitive basis and issued a public notice on September 14, inviting applications for the post.

NOC is often criticised for rampant misappropriations from distributing lucrative benefits packages to its staff, irregularities in fuel supply to petroleum theft. 

Even though the enterprise enforced the mechanical locking system in petroleum trucks, this has failed to check fuel theft. NOC imports fuel from Indian Oil Corporation depots. 

Apart from tackling these challenges, Paudel will also have his hands full in maintaining a smooth supply of fuel, ensuring quality petroleum products and implementing effective safety measures in cooking gas business. 

Most of all, he will have to take a firm stance against the wide spread syndicate that is gripping the country’s petroleum business, said analysts of the sector. Multiple attempts by The Post to contact Paudel failed.

Published: 09-01-2019 08:27

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